Photo Credit: Palm Beach Post.
Note: This is the second article of a two-part series. Read first: An Interview With Chad Pfeifer.
Golf became retired Cpl. Chad Pfeifer’s hobby as he recovered from having part of his left leg amputated. He was recently eliminated on The Golf Channel’s reality TV show “Big Break The Palm Beaches, FL.” This is a continuation of his candid answers to my burning questions.
- What are your immediate hopes and fears?
“I have been fortunate to have found a passion for golf that can allow me to have fun while working at the same time. I still fear that I won’t reach my goal but you have to fear to help push you to reach your goals. One of the fears I see too often…is not trying something for the fear of failure itself. You will never know if you can be good at something if you never try it and commit to it. Failure in a lot of things for me has helped me set boundaries both physically and mentally on my journey, but it’s because I tried things and jumped into them that I was able to learn from them.”
- How do you stay positive?
“There are several reasons I have been able to stay positive. (Read: Turning a Passion Into a Paycheck) One is I have found something in golf that I truly love and I enjoy doing. Another reason is that a “disabled” person has to have a sense of humor about their disability. If not it will prohibit you from stepping out of your comfort zone to try new things. You need to be able to see the good in everything and realize that everything happens for a reason. The last but certainly not least is my family and friends. My wife, Summer, and my two little boys Grady and Lucien have kept me on my toes. Parenting is always a challenge but they also provide a huge support system and a driving force for me to be successful — not only to provide for them but to teach my boys that you can be successful no matter what happens to you along the way.”
- Does your military discipline help or hinder you now?
“For me personally it has given me an edge mentally and emotionally on the golf course over a lot of other golfers and it can be the same in any field of work. Now there are some downfalls for those of us who struggle with PTSD symptoms, but the key to dealing with it is talking about them and facing the issues with those close around us or reaching out to other vets dealing with them or who have overcome them. I have had to overcome anger issues and being in large crowds as they make me feel tense and stressful. Having people around me such as other veterans and family I have been able to realize that this, as well as many other feelings, is being experienced by many other people at the same time. For me, being around other veterans with similar war and military experiences has been the best form of therapy as you can vent to them and they know what you are going through and they can share their feelings as well. A lot of times listening to other veterans can help you with your problems and sometimes put them in perspective for you.”
Author’s note: Pfeifer is blazing a trail of his own in the golf world. He is living proof that we should rise above our challenges and not fall victim to them. I know this is not the last we will hear of Chad Pfeifer — I am looking forward to his next endeavor!